County Donegal nail technician shares benefits of PHAB Service Star accolade

By Helena Biggs | 04 January 2023 | Feature, Tech Talk

Rina Du Plessis Phab Service Star

County Donegal nail technician shares benefits of PHAB Service Star accolade

Rina du Plessis of Signature Nails by Rina in Letterdenny, Co. Donegal, has been recognised for her exemplary nail treatments and customer care with a PHAB Service Star.

The PHAB Service Stars initiative was launched by Nergish Wadia-Austin, esteemed international business management training & beauty industry consultant, to give salon, spa and barbering professionals elevated status and a measurable benchmark for their performance. It helps consumers to identify the best practitioners in their area, who are awarded after a thorough verification process.

Rina was awarded her PHAB Service Star in December 2021 following assessment of key business performance indicators, customer testimonials, management support and mystery shopping.

“The process of applying for a PHAB Service Star is straightforward via the website,” shares Rina. “The thorough vetting process made achieving a PHAB Service Star so valuable, as it is note something that all hair and beauty professionals can obtain.”

Available for application by nail technicians, beauty therapists, hairdressers, barbers and colourists, Rina was inspired to apply for the accolade after seeing PHAB Service Stars featured in an industry magazine.

The talented nail pro first showed a love for the craft in 2002, at the age of 14, and fondly remembers the smell of monomer and movements of the nail technician’s hands. “Nail appointments made me happy and relaxed, and as if nothing outside the salon existed. I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue a career and nails and make other people feel as relaxed and as happy as I did.”

Rina completed her first nail and beauty courses in 2006 in South Africa, and two years later finished a master and education ambassador course with Creative Nail Design (CND).

“In 2018, a few years after moving from South Africa to Ireland, I opened my own nail salon, Signature Nails By Rina, employing one other nail pro and renting out a table on a part-time basis to another tech,” Rina explains. “After three years, I expanded the salon’s offerings due to demand. Beauty treatments have been added, four staff members are employed and I have rebranded to Signature Nails & Beauty by Rina. 

“Clients travel from all over Donegal and Northern Ireland to visit the salon, and clients range from four year olds seeking a nail paint to a 90-year-old who visits every three weeks for a gel polish overlay.”

Rina loves the fast pace of the nail and beauty sector, with its ever-changing trends, products and techniques. “There is no chance to stagnate,” she shares. “One must keep learning.”

Rina is in the process of reapplying for her PHAB Service Star, as the accolade is valid for one year to ensure that high standards are maintained. “Displaying the award in my salon makes me extremely proud of who I am as a business owner and nail technician. I am honoured and proud to be honoured with a PHAB Service Star as it represents my professionalism within the industry.

“The honour of holding a PHAB Service Star is great. I would recommend all other professionals who are eligible to apply.”

Founder, Nergish Wadia-Austin, adds: “I am proud to say that the PHAB Service Stars is the first performance based award in our industry overseen by industry experts.

“There is mandatory regulation in many countries, but exceptional performance, quality of work and superb service is not regulated – and it’s what consumers are looking for. PHAB Service Stars is supported by industry experts so puts us in a different league – and is why consumers will respect this standard in the way that they respect Michelin stars in catering.”


“Nail, beauty and hair professionals who listen to their customer’s needs, solve their concerns, invite them back and deliver fantastic results with outstanding service, will ‘sail through the application process’, for a PHAB Service Star,” reveals Nergish. “Individuals must maintain good customer records and must keep track of their performance because these will be required as evidence of their claims.”

Click here to find out more about the PHAB Service Stars.

Watch Nergish Wadia Austin’s interview with Rina du Plessis below.